<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:22:24 -0700 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:22:24 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[SDSU Grad Found Dead on Desert Trail]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:36:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Margay+Edwards+4.jpg

Sheriff’s detectives have opened a suspicious death investigation after the body of a recent San Diego State University graduate was discovered in the Nevada desert.

Two people riding quads found Margay Edwards, 27, dead on a dirt trail near Pahrump, Nevada last Thursday, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Edwards’ license was found on her body, but her car and cell phone are still missing. Cal Coast News reports it took investigators four days to confirm the body was Edwards because it was so decomposed.

Authorities said Edwards, a Los Ojos resident, made frequent trips to Las Vegas. She graduated from SDSU last year with a business degree.

NBC 7 traced Edwards to a Vista apartment where she recently lived. The current tenant told us that investigators visited there three months go and asked her if she knew Edwards.

In the conversation, investigators told the woman that a vehicle registered to Edwards was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Las Vegas. She said they described the investigation as urgent.

Although her cause of death has not been determined, detectives are calling it suspicious and are looking into criminal activity. They expect to have more answers after an autopsy.

Sheriff's officials are also looking for a 2014 Blue Hyundai Accent rental car she was last seen driving. It has the California license plate 7ESZ966.

If you have any information about this case, call the Nye County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 751-7000.

Pahrump is a community known for off-roading and racing. It's home to the Pahrump Valley Speedway and several popular trails used by dirt bikes riders and for other recreational motor sports.

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<![CDATA[Hit-and-Run Driver Drags Victim 100 Yards: SDPD]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:57:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bay-Terraces-Hit-and-Run-11.jpg

The driver in a fatal hit-and-run appears to have dragged a victim for approximately 100 yards, San Diego police said Wednesday.

The body of the unidentified man was found just after 10 p.m. Tuesda in Bay Terraces north of State Route 54, police said. 

The man was found in the middle of the intersection at Appian Drive and Woodman Street, a busy area with homes, apartments and shops.

Someone in the area called 911 to report a hit-and-run accident.

During their investigation authorities say evidence was found showing the man may have been dragged on the roadway for about 100 yards before ending up where he was found.

There are few leads on what type of car was involved or what time the incident occurred, police said.

Investigators cleared the intersection just before 5 a.m. Wednesday.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[How Is Ebola Spread?]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:57:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/456202288.jpg

The first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States sparked immediate concerns about who may have been exposed and helped shed light on how the potentially deadly virus is, and isn't, spread.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, according to the CDC.

"There is no risk to people who have been in contact with those who have been sick with Ebola and recovered, or people who have been exposed and have not yet shown symptoms," the CDC's director Dr. Thomas Frieden explained Tuesday, after confirming that a patient in Dallas had tested positive.

That patient recently flew to the United States from Liberia, one of the West African countries now grappling with a deadly Ebola outbreak. Because he showed no signs of sickness until four days after landing in the U.S., however, officials are not worried about travelers who were on the plane with him.

The initial spread of the Ebola virus to humans is unknown, although researchers believe that "patient zero" in the recent West Africa outbreak became infected through contact with an infected animal, possibly a bat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once a person is infected, the CDC said there are several ways Ebola can spread to other people via direct contact with:

  • Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen
  • Objects contaminated with the virus, like syringes or other medical equipment
  • Infected animals, by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat

Direct contact through broken skin or mucus membranes is key, as the CDC said Ebola cannot be spread through the air or by water or food. However, that may not have been the case in some cases in Africa, where Ebola may have been spread through the handling of wild animals hunted for food and contact with infected bats, according to the CDC.

The following symptoms can appear from two to 21 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle pain

Generally, after 21 days, if an exposed person has not developed symptoms, he or she will not become sick, the CDC said.

However, the Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to three months after exposure, so those who have recovered from the virus are advised not to have sex, or else only to have sex using condoms, during that time, according to the CDC.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[149 Schools at Risk for Chemical Catastrophe: Report]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:00:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chemical+risk+schools.JPG

Your child could be going to school close to a potential chemical catastrophe, according to a new report by the nonprofit Center for Effective Government.

Almost one third of all students in the country could be in harm's way because they attend school near hazardous facilities, like chemical factories and refineries, according to government data analyzed by the center.

While uncommon, industrial facility accidents could cause explosions or release chemicals that kill anyone within a so-called “vulnerability zone.”

In San Diego County, a big concern is water treatment plants.

There are 20 schools with 12,000 students near the Miramar Water Treatment Plant, which uses chlorine gas.

The Escondido/Vista Water Treatment Plant puts the most local students at risk, sitting near 33 schools. On site, workers store 80,000 pounds of chlorine gas.

“The main risk we saw in San Diego was actually from three different natural gas plants that used about 20,000 pounds of anhydrous-ammonium, which is very dangerous,” said Sean Moulton, the director for the Center for Effective Government.

He is referring to the Naval Station Energy Facility and energy plants at North Island and Naval Training Center/Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Together, they put between 3,000 and 5,000 students at risk, according to Moulton.

Throughout the county, 149 of the 984 schools are in 21vulnerability zones, potentially threatening 93,000 students out of more than a half a million. Click here to see if your child's school is at risk.

Moulton said they began looking into this issue after a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas, killing 15 people and destroying 150 buildings – including three schools.

“The federal government is trying to figure out what to do in the wake of West, Texas, so people need to get engaged and tell the EPA we need a requirement for companies to use the safest alternatives that are practical,” said Moulton.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency said they are helping local agencies with risk assessment, prevention and response plans.



Photo Credit: Center for Effective Government]]>
<![CDATA[Ax-Wielding Teen Caught in Canyon]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 05:37:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/axe_generic_01.jpg

A 15-year-old boy with an ax prompted a manhunt Tuesday in Scripps Ranch.

The incident started in the 11000 block of Red Cedar Drive. According to the San Diego Police Department, the teenager got into a fight with his family and started using an ax on the house. Then, he fled.

SDPD launched its ABLE helicopter to help find the teen. Officers located him in the canyon behind Jerebek Elementary School, not far from his home.

The boy is in custody and faces battery and vandalism charges, police said.

Jerebek Elementary School was placed on a short lockdown during the ordeal.


 

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<![CDATA[When do Police Cruisers Have Right of Way? ]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:59:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Police+Sirens.JPG

A San Carlos couple is questioning the city of San Diego’s emergency response policy after a police cruiser crashed into them, sending the cop’s vehicle into a group of eight cyclists.

Camille and Scott Martin are recovering two days after their convertible collided with a San Diego Police car at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Cesar Chavez in Barrio Logan.

They say the officer, who was responding to a domestic violence call, drove through a red light without turning on lights and sirens.

“There is no reason you can’t at least flip the sirens on and turn them back off if need be but you have to warn people in that intersection,” Scott said in an exclusive interview with NBC 7.

By the rules of the road and the department's own pursuit policies, personal injury lawyer Chris Hulburt says police do not have the right of way.

“Even if this is an urgent need to get there, the only way to get through this red light is to turn on the lights and sirens,” he said.

Hulburt successfully settled a 1999 case with the city after June Meng Hong was killed by a SDPD cruiser that slammed into her car during a burglary chase in Mira Mesa. The city ended up paying $1.95 million to her husband.

The attorney told NBC 7 officers are required to use emergency lights and sirens to request that other drivers on the road yield.

SDPD investigators on the Martin case could not verify whether the officer was in violation of policy or even how fast his car was going.

There are no known circumstances in police policy that allow an officer to run a red light without warning the driving public ahead, according to Hulburt.

“There is going to be a determination, I predict, that this is a clear violation of the San Diego Police Department's own policies,” Hulburt said.

The SDPD says only that the accident is under investigation.

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<![CDATA[Airman Missing from San Diego-Based Ship ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:22:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/uss-makin-island-0725.jpg

A search is underway for a military airman missing in the Arabian Sea, the U.S. Navy confirmed Wednesday.

A MV-22 Osprey lost power when taking off from USS Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship homeported at Naval Base San Diego. Two crew members bailed out into the water. One of those airmen was rescued safely, but the other is still missing, according to the Navy.

The pilot managed to gain control of the plane and land on the ship, the Navy said.

The aircraft is part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) based at Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego County. 

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the 11th MEU deployed last July to support operations in the Middle East.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


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<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuated ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:52:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bomb+threat+at+Sandy+Hook+in+Monroe+1200.jpg

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, Connecticut, was evacuated this morning because of a bomb threat.

A bomb threat was called into the school at 9:39 a.m., police said.

As a precaution, the school was evacuated and students were brought to a neighboring school.

The building and grounds were checked, and no evidence of the actual threat was found.

Students from the Sandy Hook School have been going to classes in the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe since January 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six staff members during a rampage in their Newtown school.

Architects have designed plans to build a new school on the Newtown site, but construction has not started. It is expected to begin in spring 2015.

Students will be dismissed, police said, but they did not have information on when.

The investigation continues.
 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Bankrupt NJ Casino Sells at Auction]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:31:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_revel.jpg

The defunct Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City will reopen as another casino, a spokesman for Brookfield Property Partners parent company said Wednesday, hours after the firm was declared the winning bidder.

"Our expertise is running casino, hotel properties," said Andrew Willis of Brookfield Asset Management, which operates the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas.

Revel officials declared Brookfield Property Partners the winning bidder Tuesday after the Toronto-based company upped their offer to $110 million late Tuesday.

Willis declined to discuss specifics about Brookfield's plan for the property, but did share its expectation for "synergies" between its future Atlantic City casino, Las Vegas' Hard Rock and the Atlantis.

The casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, opened in 2012 and closed Sept. 2 after filing for its second bankruptcy in June.

"[Revel] and its advisors determined that Brookfield's bid was the highest and the best bid received," a Revel spokeswoman said in a statement. "The company intends to move forward promptly ... to seek approval of the sale."

The sale hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Revel selected Polo North Country Club Inc. as the backup based on its $95.4 million offer, the statement said.

Brookfield first pledged $94 million and then $98 million as it competed with other bidders, like Polo and a real estate developer -- Glenn Straub, for ownership of the bankrupt casino.

Initially Straub appeared to be the only party interested in acquiring Revel, offering $90 million before the bankruptcy auction was even scheduled.

Ahead of the auction, Straub spoke about his ambitious plan to turn the closed casino into a university that would serve ideally "white and over 21" students  -- apparently Straub's way of describing someone with no financial obligations, Reuters reported.

The auction, which began last Wednesday, was suspended that afternoon due to the approaching Rosh Hashanah holiday. It resumed Tuesday.

The bidding process frustrated Straub, who said he waited around for six hours on Sept. 24, "but nothing happened."

He asked the judge to delay the auction, claiming Revel's attorneys failed to keep a promise to share information about other bids they received. A Revel spokeswoman declined to comment on Straub's complaint.

The court refused to suspend the auction, but a hearing was scheduled on Straub's objection for Oct. 20.

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<![CDATA[Jailed Marine's Release Could Be Weeks Away: Mom]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:58:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jill-Tahmooressi-Marine-Mom.jpg

A dismissal or acquittal may be close for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico on weapons charges his mother said Wednesday.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's attorney expects action after psychiatric evaluations from both defense and prosecutors were filed in court late Tuesday.

"I believe we are just several weeks away. We are very hopeful," Jill Tahmooressi said.

Many have been following the case of the 26-year-old inactive reservist who served two tours of Afghanistan and was seeking treatment for his PTSD in San Diego when he was arrested in Mexico in six months ago.

As she testified before a congressional hearing, Tahmooressi revealed she has not been contacted by President Barack Obama and does not know if the president has intervened on her son's behalf.

She also shared several conversations she has had with her son since he was jailed on charges of weapons trafficking.

On April 14, she said her son told her, “Mom. I tried to kill myself because the guards and the inmates were going to rape, torture and eventually execute me for information.”

Mexican officials report that Tahmooressi crossed the San Ysidro Port of Entry south of San Diego on March 31 with a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, a 5.56-caliber rifle loaded with a 30-round clip and with two additional clips, a .45-caliber loaded pistol, loaded with 10 .45-caliber rounds and with two additional clips.

Supporters have said the Marine accidentally entered Mexico after making a wrong turn.

Mexican officials say the weapons constitute a federal crime. They also claim Tahmooressi made the same crossing three previous times and would not have gotten lost.

On Wednesday, Jill Tahmooressi was one of several who pleaded with Congress to help the Marine who has been diagnosed with PTSD return to the U.S. to seek treatment.

Lieutenant Commander Montel B. Williams, USN, Retired and former talk show host who now works as a veterans advocate testified that he spoke with Tahmooressi two days ago.

In that conversation, Williams recalled hearing the Marine say, “I have a hard time keeping the bad thoughts out.”

He called the delay in getting Tahmooressi home "an abomination" and said the Marine has been treated like a POW, not a person incarcerated for making a mistake.

Several times they noted that the incarceration in Mexico can be detrimental to someone with Tahmooressi's medical condition.

Sergeant Robert Buchanan, USMC, Retired served with Tahmooressi in Afghanistan.

“Isolation is the last thing anyone needs,” Buchanan said of those living with PTSD. “Please help us get him home and the treatment he direly needs.”

Attorney Fernando Benitez filed a motion earlier this month on behalf of Tahmooressi arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat his client's PTSD.

Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.


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<![CDATA[SDUSD Has Trouble Getting Rid of Armored Vehicle]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:48:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MRAP_artist_idea.jpg

San Diego’s largest school district has announced it will return a controversial armored vehicle, but it’s not that simple.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Unified School District will file paperwork to return the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. The district received the vehicle through the Department of Defense 1033 program, which gives state and local law enforcement agencies surplus military equipment that might have been destroyed otherwise.

With its ability ram through buildings and tear down walls, the district said the MRAP could be used to reach victims during a school shooting or other emergency. However, officials have decided to return the vehicle after public backlash.

“I really do not feel schools have any business having military equipment on hand,” Point Loma resident Ruby Beardsley said.

“The decision to send it back was based around community sentiment and the fact that we want to be sensitive to what our community is thinking and believing as it relates to police,” said SDUSD Chief of Police Rueben Littlejohn.

“The value that this piece of equipment, this defensive tool, would bring does not outweigh the need for community confidence and public trust,” Littlejohn said.

It seems the San Diego Unified School District isn’t alone. According to SDUSD, the Department of Defense has a backlog of requests from other school districts trying to return their equipment obtained through the 1033 program. A report in the Washington Post found at least 120 schools, colleges and universities have received these military hand-me-downs, which include M16 rifles and grenade launchers.

The 1033 program came under the microscope after the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri. Police were seen with armored vehicles and assault weapons at rallies for Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager shot and killed by an officer.

The MRAP will remain in San Diego until the Department of Defense decides where it should go next, SDUSD Chief of Police Rueben Littlejohn told NBC 7 on Sept. 19. Littlejohn said the district will not have to pay the shipping costs to send the vehicle to its next owner.
 



Photo Credit: SDUSD artist concept]]>
<![CDATA[Coyote Pup Burned in Poinsettia Fire Runs Free]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:07:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/burned+coyote+edited.jpg

One of the smallest victims of the 2014 San Diego wildfires is back on her feet.

On Tuesday, wildlife workers released a female coyote into the wild after spending the last five months with her.

The pup, known only as Coyote 1732, came to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona in May. The 10-week-old coyote had been severely burned in the Poinsettia Fire.

“Literally her paws were dripping blood after the first bandage change. She just had no top layer of skin on all four of her paw pads,” said Gina Taylor, registered veterinary technician at the wildlife center.

“Her entire coat was just crunchy, singed hair,” she said.

Taylor’s eyes welled up with tears as the coyote bolted from her carrier and into the wild. She described the bittersweet feeling as a mother of a teenager leaving for college.

“I do rehab not for them to be pets, not for them to be put into an exhibit of any sort," she said.

Although it was sad to see her go, Taylor said this coyote belongs in the wild.

“We do not feel like she has any inclination to be around humans,” Taylor said. “The fact that we every day, every other day, every third day had to capture her up to change her bandages, she still never liked it, never liked us, never sought us out for any attention.”

Coyote 1732 was released in Oceanside at an undisclosed location approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Taylor said the coyote will eat squirrels, rabbits, lizards and other small animals now that she’s back in the wild.

“She abruptly got separated from her family unit, and now instinct has to kick in for her,” she said.

A few days after the coyote came to the rehabilitation center, her brother arrived also. Taylor said his burns were so severe, she was surprised he survived the night.

Taylor said the boy, Coyote 1736, will never be healthy enough to go back to the wild. Instead, he will be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary in Texas.

The Poinsettia Fire burned 600 acres and destroyed 23 homes and apartments in Carlsbad last May.

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<![CDATA[Calif. Law Adds Pet Insurance Regulations]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:56:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cute+pups.jpg

California became the first state to impose basic requirements for pet insurance Tuesday under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

AB 2056 requires pet insurers to disclose basic information about their policies like reimbursement benefits and pre-existing condition restrictions. It also forces insurance companies to give customers a 30-day “free look” period, during which they can return their policy for a full refund.

The pet insurers – who will be part of a $750 million industry by 2015 – must offer a clear explanation of coverage limits such as coinsurance, waiting periods and deductibles.

The California Department of Insurance, a supporter of the law, says the changes address a growing number of complaints they have fielded about the industry. Policyholders have told the CDI they need help paying for sick or injured pets because they learned too late that their policy’s exclusions outweigh the benefits.

For example, CDI officials cite the experience of California resident Gary Lucks, who bought pet insurance after reading marketing materials advertising a 90 percent reimbursement rate. In reality, his insurer only covered 90 percent of the plan’s benefit schedule allowance.

When his dog was diagnosed and treated for cancer, Lucks was only reimbursed one third of the cost.

The CDI says AB 2056 will help pet owners like Lucks make better decisions by understanding what they are getting for their money.

“In the state with the largest number of insured pets, once again California is leading the way by becoming the first state in the nation to enact a law that adds consumer protections to this rapidly growing line of insurance,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

A similar measure crossed former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk during his tenure, but he vetoed it. In July, the latest version passed the state Assembly with a unanimous vote.

Only about 1 percent of pet owners in the U.S. hold insurance policies, and Americans spend more than $15 billion every year on veterinary care, the CDI reports.

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<![CDATA[California: First State to Ban Plastic Bags]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:23:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/Plastic+Bag+Ban+Store+Counter+copy.jpg

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags Tuesday.

The measure, first proposed by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, would prohibit single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and large pharmacies in 2015 and at convenience stores in 2016.

It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

The bill had sparked one of the most contentious debates in the last weeks of the legislative session, with aggressive lobbying by environmentalists and bag manufacturers.

Moments after Brown signed the measure, the American Progressive Bag Alliance called it a “back room deal between grocers and union bosses to scam California consumers out of billions of dollars without providing any public benefit – all under the guise of environmentalism.”

The group plans to launch a referendum effort for the November 2016 ballot to repeal the measure.

San Diegan Laura Quinn-Stalker had mixed feelings about the news.

“Although I reuse my plastic bags constantly and will miss that,” she posted to NBC 7’s Facebook page, “I think this is important to do.”

“Won't see a dime saved in my pocket. Now, I have to buy garbage bags,” Oxnard resident Wade Wilson posted.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to cleanup.

About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Liberians in Dallas on Ebola News]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:22:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DFW+Liberian+Church.jpg

Confirmation that a patient at a Dallas hospital is being treated for Ebola after arriving in North Texas from West Africa has alarmed the local Liberian community.

For weeks, NBC 5 has tracked the progress of a local group's efforts to raise money and supplies to help Ebola patients in their native Liberia.

On Tuesday, they learned the virus is now in Dallas.

"We have people going and coming every day, so like I said, this is shocking, because they take all the necessary precautions over there at the airport and even when they get here," said Carolyn Woahloe, head of the local Liberian Nurses Association.

According to the president of the Liberian Community Association of DFW, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Liberians in North Texas.

Many of them travel back and forth from their home country often.

The president of the LCADFW told NBC 5 he does not personally know the Dallas Ebola patient, but the group is planning an informative meeting to let the public know of the need to seek medical help if anyone had contact with the patient.

"Whoever came in contact with this family of ours, they just don't need to be afraid. They just need to go to the hospital, [and] say, 'Hey, I was there. I greeted him.' Just go get checked out, the family and friends and everyone else who came in contact with him," said Woahloe.

Nine Liberian churches operate in Dallas and Fort Worth, according to LCADFW.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[CDC Confirms 1st U.S. Ebola Case]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:08:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ebola-dallas.jpg

A person who arrived in Dallas from Liberia a week ago tested positive for Ebola Tuesday, becoming the first person diagnosed in the U.S. with the potentially deadly virus, the City of Dallas confirmed.

The patient was hospitalized and placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sunday after symptoms appeared four days earlier, on Sept. 24. Hospital officials listed him in serious condition Wednesday after previously being listed in critical condition.

Because the patient showed no symptoms of the virus when he arrived in the U.S. Sept. 20, there was no risk to fellow airline passengers, according to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

"We’ve stopped every Ebola outbreak that’s ever occurred in Africa expect for this one," he said. And this one could have been stopped  if we had gotten in there earlier.

The CDC will ensure that the patient will be treated in a way that minimizes the risk of spreading infection, Frieden said. He also said a team is in Dallas to identify anyone the patient might have infected and monitor them for 21 days.

"We will stop Ebola in its tracks in the U.S.," he said.

Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson told NBC 5 that they are focused on 12 to 18 people who had close, physical contact with the patient while symptomatic in Dallas. He said about 10 epidemiologists from the county and CDC are investigating the patient's friends and family.

"The number that is on the ground right now to do the contact investigation is adequate," Thompson said. "If that number was to expand, we'd ask for additional resources."

Thompson said medical professionals have tested one of the patient's relatives, but did not say whether it was a "suspected case."

"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a second confirmed case," he said. "We know that several family members had very close physical contact with this patient."

The Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance crew who transported the infected man to the hospital tested negative for Ebola, but they will be monitored for symptoms as the incubation period passes, Dallas city officials said. If symptoms develop, they too will be isolated and investigators will determine who they came into contact with and monitor those people for symptoms.

"I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of the Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country," Frieden said. "It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member, or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks, but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here."

Officials also pulled the ambulance used to transport the man from service. The number of people in the DFR crew being monitored is not known, but a traditional ambulance crew complement is two. Firetrucks can carry an additional five first responders.

The Ebola diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday after specimens were sent from Presbyterian Hospital to the Texas public health laboratory in Austin, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Tuesday. The Austin lab, which was certified last month to test for Ebola, tested the specimen and sent the sample to the CDC in Atlanta for further confirmation.

The Dallas patient will continue to be treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, according to Dr. Edward Goodman, hospital epidemiologist at Presbyterian. On Wednesday morning, the hospital listed the patient's condition as serious.

After receiving the Ebola diagnosis, the city activated its Emergency Operations Center and is on Level 2: High Readiness. State and federal health officials said Tuesday there are no other confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola virus in the state, though.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to hold a news conference at noon Wednesday to discuss the Ebola diagnosis.

According to the City of Dallas, the patient moved to Dallas a week ago, but health officials with the CDC said the patient only came to Dallas to visit family. The unidentified man's nationality is not yet known, but NBC 5 confirmed the man is a father who previously lived in the United States. His last known residence was in the Liberian capital city of Monrovia.

President Barack Obama was briefed about the diagnosis in a call from Frieden, the White House said.

Word of the infection alarmed the local Liberian community.

"People have been calling, trying to find out if anybody knows the family," said Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth. "We've been telling people to try to stay away from social gatherings."

Dallas Patient the Fifth Ebola Patient Treated in U.S. This Year

The patient is the fifth person treated for Ebola in the country this year after missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Rick Sacra all contracted the virus while working in West Africa.

Brantly and Writebol have fully recovered after they were given experimental drugs and treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in August.  Sacra was treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and was released Sept. 25. He had been working in Liberia on behalf of SIM. The identity and condition of the fourth patient has not been released. It is believed that they are still being treated at Emory Hospital.

Writebol issued a statement Tuesday after learning of the new diagnosis in Dallas on Tuesday.

"We are sad for the family of the patient and pray for recovery to good health," she said. "It is a mercy that the best medical care is available. We also pray for the safety of the medical staff attending to the patient."

How is Ebola Spread?

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease spread through close, direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of a living or dead person who had contracted Ebola. The virus is only contagious when symptoms are present, and it is not spread through the air, through food or water.

Symptoms for Ebola virus involve a fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained hemorrhage. Symptoms appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure but the average is eight to 10 days.

If someone exposed to Ebola has not shown symptoms for 21 days they are not expected to develop Ebola.

According to the CDC, recovery from Ebola depends on the patient's immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for about 10 years.

The CDC said the United States is well-equipped to manage and treat Ebola and that the chances of an outbreak like the one in West Africa is extremely low.

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Scott Gordon Jeff Smith and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Jeter on His Career: Never Wanted to Embarrass Parents]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:30:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Derek_Jeter209740927409.jpg

Newly retired New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter said he avoided scandal and controversy during his storied career because he did not want to humiliate his parents.

“I’ve always had tried to treat people with respect, the way I wanted to be treated,” the 14-time All Star said in a “Today” show interview that aired Wednesday. “I’ve always been very cautious with what I do. I started at a young age and I’ve always had the mentality that I never wanted to embarrass my parents. That fear is still there.”

The final player to wear a single-digit number for the Yankees, Jeter spoke with "Today's" Matt Lauer less than 24 hours after he played his last game at the stadium, which he won with a walk-off single.

“Fifty thousand people. I’ve never been an actor on Broadway, but it feels like you’re on a stage when you play at Yankee stadium,” Jeter said. “And that’s the feeling I’ve always had. To have everyone there standing up, cheering for you and saying thank you, just never want to play another game out there.”

The 40-year-old star shortstop, who received gifts from other ballclubs on his way out, said he was most surprised at the send-off he got from the Yankees' arch rivals at Fenway Park on the last day of his career.

A pregame ceremony honoring the retiring captain produced numerous standing ovations from the Boston crowd. Jeter told Lauer that there were plenty of times when Red Sox fans would “stand and say some things" during his 20-season career. "But it was never an ovation.”

Jeter hit an RBI single at his last at bat at Fenway. The final hit left him with a .310 career batting average, raising it from .30945 to .30951.

The baseball star already has some post-retirement plans. He has launched Jeter Publishing, his imprint with Simon & Schuster and The Players' Tribune, a publishing portal where athletes will be able to share their stories without having to deal with reporters.

"I realize I’ve been guarded. I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer," Jeter said in a statement on the site that posted Wednesday. "I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions."

Jeter told Lauer it feels good so far to be retired.

“It’s funny, because someone had mentioned to me I went from an old man in baseball to a young man in life. And I liked how that sounded. So, I consider myself young again," he said.

One thing he rules out is coming out of retirement.

“I played my last game. That’s one hundred percent,” he assured Lauer.

 


 



Photo Credit: Today]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Ambulance Crew Who Brought Ebola Patient to Hospital Is Quarantined]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:44:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Fire-Rescue-Vehicle.jpg

The Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance crew who transported the man infected with Ebola to the hospital have tested negative for the Ebola virus, according to the City of Dallas.

The City of Dallas said Tuesday that the crew took all safety precautions and was isolated and tested following the discovery.

The three members of the ambulance crew are restricted to their homes while their conditions are observed and while the virus' incubation period passes.

The patient was vomiting when the ambulance got to the hospital, Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said. 

The ambulance crew is among 12 to 18 people being monitored after exposure to the man. Some are members of his family, but not all, Syed said.

Should the ambulance crew members develop symptoms, investigators will then determine with whom they came into contact and monitor those people for symptoms as well.

The ambulance used to transport the man has been pulled from service at Station 37 in 6700 block of Greenville Avenue.

Chopper 5 showed Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance 37 parked away from all other vehicles at the training center in the 5000 block of Dolphin Road. The ambulance was wrapped in red caution tape and blocked in.

The City of Dallas said it has activated the city's Emergency Operations Center and is on Level 2: High Readiness after receiving confirmation that Dallas has the first diagnosed Ebola case in the nation. The person moved to Dallas from Liberia a week ago.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Mom of Jailed Marine Testifies at Congressional Hearing ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:29:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/050214+andrew+tahmooressi.jpg

Two psychiatrists told a Tijuana federal judge Tuesday that an American Marine reservist jailed in Mexico on weapons charges for six months, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and needs to get treatment in the U.S., according to his attorney Fernando Benitez.

The lawyer filed a motion earlier this month arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's PTSD. Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.

A psychiatrist for the defense and another for the prosecution evaluated Tahmooressi this week at the El Hongo State Penitentiary, apparently coming to the same conclusion that the veteran's PTSD is an issue, according to Benitez’s posts on Twitter.

“We're not at the finish line, but we've made a huge leap forward. I advise patience and composure. This is evidence, not yet a ruling,” said Benitez in a tweet.

NBC 7 spoke with Tahmooressi’s mother Jill about the new findings.

“I truly hope this is indeed a step forward to bringing Andrew home. We can only wait and see,” she said.

Jill is testifying Wednesday at a U.S. Congressional subcommittee hearing on Tahmooressi's case. TV personality and retired officer Montel Williams will also give testimony on the jailed Marine's behalf.

Tahmooressi, a Florida veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan, was in San Diego in March to receive treatment for his PTSD.

His family says on April 1, he took a wrong turn into the San Ysidro Port of Entry and was arrested for having three firearms in his truck. However, Mexican police officials claim Tahmooressi made the same crossing three previous times and would not have gotten lost.

He now faces weapons charges for the U.S.-registered guns.



Photo Credit: Facebook.com/freeusmctahmooressifrommexicanjail]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers D Picks It Up (and Off)]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:23:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/chargers+interceptions.jpg

After coming oh-so-close through the first three games, the Chargers defense was finally able to break through with a pair of interceptions on Sunday.

Safety Eric Weddle and cornerback Brandon Flowers each had a pick in the 33-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the team forced three turnovers without committing any. That brings the team’s turnover ratio to a sparking plus-five through the first quarter of the season.

“Creating three turnovers was big,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “On the back end, we really didn’t give up too many plays.”

Both interceptions came at critical times. Flowers’ pick came on the first defensive series of the second half. He jumped Cecil Shorts’ route at midfield, stepping in front of the pass and taking it back into Jaguars territory.

Weddle’s came midway through the fourth quarter as Jacksonville drove into Bolts territory, squelching the last chance the Jags had to get back into the game.

“When we had a chance to make plays, we made plays,” said Flowers. “I made it my duty to get one today.”

After Sunday’s catch, he now has 18 interceptions in his seven-year career. Defending Shorts – the Jags’ top receiver – for most of the day, Flowers played in all but three defensive snaps.

“Show ‘em one thing and play another,” he said of his strategy on the play.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Sandy Hook Playground Started]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:28:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/principal17.jpg

Volunteers broke ground Tuesday on the last of the 26 playgrounds dedicated to the students and teachers shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The 26th and final playground will be named for school principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who bravely ran toward the barrage of bullets and died protecting her students and staff.

Alongside the Where Angels Play Foundation, Hochsprung's two daughters helped to design the playground in Watertown, the community where her four grandchildren live.

One of the many volunteers to help make the project a reality is the father of a young woman who was also killed protecting her young students.

Carlos Soto's 27-year-old daughter, Victoria, was a teacher at Sandy Hook and died shielding her students from gunfire.

He said he was inspired to help after watching the construction of his daughter's playground. Soto charged batteries for the workers on Tuesday and cheered them on.

"From something ugly that happened, something beautiful is coming out of it," Soto said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Oct. 5.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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<![CDATA[Trooper Accidentally Shot Dead]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:33:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/david+kedra+trooper+killed+gun+range+conshohocken.jpg

A Pennsylvania State Trooper died Tuesday evening after he was accidentally shot at a Montgomery County gun range.

Trooper David Kedra, 26, of the Troop K, Skippack station was participating in a training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, around 4:45 p.m. when he was shot.

Officials have not yet revealed what led to the shooting but say a bullet pierced his chest. They also say the shooting was accidental.

A medical helicopter took the trooper from the scene to Temple University Hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

Kedra's body was placed into a hearse and escorted by a police motorcade to the coroner's office on South University Avenue.

Kedra had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since June 18, 2012.

"He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends," state police officials said in a released statement.

Trooper Kedra is the 96th member of the Pennsylvania State Police to be killed in the line of duty.

Investigators say the shooting appears to be accidental.

The gun range at the training center is normally used by law enforcement and first responders.

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<![CDATA[Hernandez Cites Tsarnaev in Motion]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:58:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_aaron_hernandez_miami.jpg

Defense lawyers for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are citing the high-profile case against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in their motion to have their client's venue changed.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Hernandez's lawyers are seeking to have Hernandez's Bristol County trial moved, arguing that the jury pool has been "poisoned" by prejudicial pretrial publicity. They suggested moving the trial "outside the Boston media market" to Hampden County or Worcester County.

The defense team's primary argument is "a media frenzy, the likes of which have never been seen in recent memory," according to the motion filed by attorney Michael Fee. Twenty-four of the 26 exhibits filed are media accounts, including a search for "Aaron Hernandez" on NECN.com.

Another exhibit filed by Hernandez is Tsarnaev's motion to change venues, which was denied earlier this month.

Fee argues that Tsarnaev was not permitted to change venues from "the large and diverse pool" of about 5 million people, Hernandez only has access to "350,000 to 400,000, if not fewer," potential jurors. Seventy to 80 percent of the pool, Fee says, is "hopelessly biased."

Additionally, Fee says that the media coverage of Hernandez has been more negative than that of Tsarnaev.

"Indeed, the sympathy shown for Tsarnaev in the press, including his portrayal as an impressionable young man under the influence of his Jihadi older brother, is in sharp contrast to the universally pejorative portrayal of Hernandez," he wrote in the motion. "Moreover, this court is acutely aware of the presence of prejudicial publicity in this case, as the danger of prejudice formed the basis for the entry of the so-called "gag order" in February."

The motion also cites the association of negative media attention regarding fellow NFL players, specifically Ray Rice. A Google search of the two men's names was submitted as an exhibit.

"Indeed, the intense media coverage of off-the-field violence by other NFL players is keeping the Hernandez case in the news almost daily and this trend alone, leaving aside other coverage of Hernandez, shows no sign of abating," wrote Fee.

CLICK HERE to see exhibits 1-12.

CLICK HERE to see exhibits 13-26.

CLICK HERE to read the motion.

Hernandez's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 9, 2015.

Also on Tuesday, the defendant was in Fall River Superior Court for a hearing on the defense's bid to have evidence from his cell phone thrown out. The hearing lasted about five hours, and is set to resume on Wednesday.

Stay with NECN for more on this developing story.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[$6 Million to go to Local Homeless Veterans]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:40:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/homeless+veterans+new+york.jpg

Millions of dollars in grants to assist homeless veterans and their families were awarded on Tuesday, $6 million of which will go toward San Diego veterans.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grants to help 70,000 homeless and at-risk veterans.

The grants will be doled out to 82 nonprofit agencies and also include funding for 56 high-need communities. Locally, the money will go toward the agencies Vietnam Veterans of San Diego and Interfaith Community Services.

These grants will assist with veteran outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining benefits and assistance in receiving other public benefits.

In addition, community-based groups can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.

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<![CDATA[Climate Action Plan Calls for 50% Emissions Cut by 2035]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:27:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/solar+panels6.JPG

An updated Climate Action Plan released Tuesday aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions in San Diego by half and switch to all electricity use to renewable sources by 2035.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Council President Todd Gloria and Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner announced the strategies from the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant and outlined steps to achieve the ambitious targets.

"This is a plan for creating economic opportunity for every San Diego family and community, and I truly believe that we have an opportunity to make San Diego one of the green energy and solar capitals of the world," said Faulconer.

The city’s goals are in line with state requirements to significantly reduce greenhouse gases by 2050.

According to Faulconer, the Climate Action Plan is designed to create new renewable energy jobs, improve public health and air quality, increase water quality and save taxpayer money by cutting water, energy and waste use.

The city leaders listed actions they could take to carry out the plan, pending city council approval:

  • Create a set of regulations and incentives to improve buildings’ energy and water efficiency
  • Cut vehicle travel and encourage alternative transit like biking, walking and public transportation
  • Retime stoplights across the city to better coordinate traffic
  • Install 20 roundabouts by 2035
  • Reach a 75 percent waste diversion rate to landfills by 2020 and a 90 percent rate by 2035, meaning trash should be reduced through recycling, reuse or composting
  • Build electric vehicle charging stations
  • Convert the city’s fleet to 50 percent electric vehicles by 2020 and 90 percent by 2035
  • Capture 98 percent of methane from wastewater treatment plants by 2035
  • Run 100 percent of city trash trucks on natural gas by 2035

“This plan demonstrates that San Diego is a progressive leader in addressing climate change, and that we value our people and our environment enough to take such decisive and strong action,” said Gloria.

This draft of the Climate Action Plan is open to public input. Once all feedback is accounted for, city staff will revise the outline, perform an environmental review and bring it in front of the city council in spring 2015.

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<![CDATA[Bear Cornered After 6-Hour Chase]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:20:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bear+hang.jpg

Animal control officials managed to shoot a bear with a tranquilizer dart after it climbed a tree near a northern New Jersey elementary school, camped out there for a bit and shimmied the 40 feet back down before running off in the opposite direction, leading authorities on a six-hour chase.

Authorities were trying to coax the 301-pound bear down low enough so they could tranquilize it and safely catch it in a net, but the bear apparently came all the way to the ground on its own -- and escaped.

The bear led authorities on a chase through Ridgewood after it climbed about 40 feet up a tree in the front yard of a home near Ridge Elementary School around 9:30 a.m. It ran toward Godwin Avenue and climbed another tree there, then climbed down that one and ran off again before authorities found it nestled in the crook of yet another tree, this time on Lake Street.

The bruin clung to a branch for awhile, but the effect of the tranquilizer dart eventually made it fall into a safety net held by emergency responders. The bear, a male, was not harmed. It will be tagged and marked and driven back to the woods in northwest New Jersey. Authorities said it never behaved aggressively.

No injuries were reported and students in nearby schools were able to go home as scheduled.

An hour before the bear was spotted near the elementary school, sanitation workers reported seeing a bear and two cubs at a leaf dump. Authorities also got a call about a large bear spotted elsewhere in town.

The multiple sightings in Ridgewood come a day after officials at an elementary school in Wayne, a county over, canceled outdoor recess for the second time in two weeks after a bear was spotted wandering through the neighborhood.

Police say the bear in Wayne, believed to be the same one spotted in the area last week, hasn't shown aggressive behavior. It was seen in the woods surrounding the Toys R Us corporate headquarters over the weekend and on various blocks around the Pines Lake neighborhood.

Residents in nearby Oakland have also seen a mother black bear and her cubs walking near houses.

Many homeowners are taking the bears more seriously after Rutgers senior Darsh Patel was killed in a bear attack in West Milford last Sunday, the first fatal bear attack in New Jersey in at least 150 years.

Since the bear hunt in New Jersey began four years ago, the number of bear nuisance complaints have gone down by 43 percent.

But in 2014, the numbers have been going back up, with a 30 percent increase in bear nuisance calls compared to last year. Biologists are still trying to determine why.

Follow Jen Maxfield on Twitter @JenMaxfield4NY 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

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<![CDATA[Brain Injury Erases Wedding Memory]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:07:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bride+memory+loss.jpg

A Queens couple celebrated a unique wedding anniversary in a Long Island hospital Tuesday, insisting their love helped conquer a near fatal brain hemorrhage.

Tunicia and Raleigh Hall were married in June. A month later, complaining of the worst headache in her life, Tunicia Hall, 43, was taken to the hospital.

She was suffering from what doctors call an "uncommon" type of brain hemorrhage, a form of a stroke that strikes otherwise healthy middle-aged people.

As doctors treated his wife, Raleigh Hall, 50, realized she was losing some of her memory.

At one point, she asked the man she has known for 30 years, "Are we married?”

“I felt like I lost her,” Raleigh Hall remembered.

He covered the walls of his wife’s hospital room with photos of their wedding, in the hope that it would help her remember.

“I was fighting to get her back. Whatever came to mind, I tried," Raleigh Hall said.

Over time, the couple said, Tunicia Hall began to remember.

"The photos drew questions -- when were we married? And she saw something and I believe what she saw was hope," Raleigh Hall said.

Tunicia Hall said the process of recovering her memory was gradual, but she now feels "great" and is in no pain.

The couple marked three months as man and wife at North Shore University hospital in Manhasset, a few floors below the intensive care unit where Raleigh Hall spent weeks at his wife’s bedside.

Hospital staff presented the happy couple with a cake and then offered a toast "to life."

Tunicia Hall's doctor acknowledged that sometimes medical science alone isn’t enough to bring patients back.

“This is a great example of that,” said Dr. Richard Temis. “Patients families are key to recovery.”

"It happens," said Raleigh Hall. "When you see hope, it happens." 

Follow Greg Cergol on Twitter @GREGCERGOL4NY

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<![CDATA[Teen Injured in Fall Off 3-Story Balcony]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:09:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ambulancegeneric.jpg

A teenager was hospitalized Monday night after falling off a third-story balcony in Carlsbad, police said.

The incident – which investigators determined was an accident – happened around 9:45 p.m. in the 2300 block of Altisma Way. When police officers arrived on scene they found a 14-year-old girl lying on the ground underneath a balcony.

The teen was conscious and breathing, and was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital with unspecified injuries.

No further details were released, including how the teen fell in the first place, but police said the fall appeared to be accidental. The victim’s name was not released.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest After Miami Mass Shooting]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 04:45:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tiffanyjohnson2011mugshot.jpg

The manager of a Miami restaurant where 15 people, including children, were shot during a party last weekend was arrested and given a notice to appear in court for allegedly selling liquor without a license.

Agents with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, in coordination with Miami Police, conducted an inspection of The Spot on Monday and found three bottles of liquor behind the bar, officials said. The restaurant only has a license to sell beer and wine.

That prompted the arrest of The Spot's manager, Tiffany Johnson, 31, and notice to appear in court.

Fifteen people were injured, the youngest just 11 years old, in a mass shooting Sunday morning at The Spot, which initially was reported to be a nightclub but is actually licensed as a restaurant.

Neighbors said the adult club had recently started hosting a teen night that was drawing large crowds.

Of the 15 wounded, one student named Trayvon was reported to be in critical but stable condition Monday. The other victims remaining in the hospital were in good condition. Some victims have been released from the hospital.

Lataara Ingram was one of the students who were shot. Friends told NBC 6 that she is a cheerleader at Booker T. Washington High School.

"Every time you see her, she kept to herself," said fellow student Briana Hines. "She doesn't cause any problems. So when I heard she was shot, it was unbelievable. Little Lataara. Innocent Lataara? Wow."

Police said it’s not immediately clear how many shooters were involved or what prompted the violence.

If you have any information about the mass shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Man Jumped on Way to Morning Prayer Service]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:31:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/korean-church-attack-san-di.jpg

A man was robbed and beaten on his way to morning prayers at a church in the Midway District early Tuesday.

The 72-year-old man, identified by fellow church members as Elder Chu, was jumped by two men along North Evergreen Street just after 5 a.m., San Diego police said.

Chu was on his way to a morning prayer service at the Korean United Presbyterian Church at the time of the attack.

San Diego police were investigating the attack. Officer said the victim suffered an injury to his lip and lost his car keys, wallet and a bag in the robbery. 

Members of the church said Chu lost some teeth and needed stitches.

The suspects fled the area in a black sedan, police said.

Pastor Paul Kang said Elder Chu would routinely open the church's door for the 5:30 a.m. prayer service.

"It's very sad," Kang said. "We are living in society where even coming to church you have to look around and street."



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Captain of USS Boxer Relieved of Duty]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:00:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/wayne+brown+edited.jpg

The captain of San Diego-based USS Boxer has been relieved of duty, just three months after assuming command, according to the U.S. Navy.

Capt. Wayne R. Brown has been relieved of his role as commanding officer, the Navy announced Tuesday. Brown took command of the amphibious assault ship in July.

In a news release, the Navy did not explain why Brown was fired, but cited “equal opportunity concerns…not tied to a specific event.”

Capt. Keith Moore, Deputy Commodore of Amphibious Squadron 1, will temporarily take over as CO. Brown has been reassigned to Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, according to the release.

The Boxer returned from her last deployment in April.
 



Photo Credit: U.S. Navy]]>
<![CDATA[SDSU Student Critically Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:54:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU-Crash-0930.jpg

A San Diego State University student was found critically injured in the middle of the road near campus and the driver believed to be responsible turned himself into police.

The 19-year-old man was found in the intersection at Montezuma Road and Campanile Drive with a head injury and a broken leg at 11 p.m. Monday.

The teenager was struck by a charcoal grey Toyota Four Runner SUV while walking in the crosswalk, police said.

There were some witnesses who said the driver had a green light, police said.

The driver behind the wheel of the SUV initially left the scene with the pedestrian in the road.

Then, at approximately 3 a.m., a 17-year-old driver turned himself into police along with his SUV for evidence, officials said.

The location of the crash is near student housing and approximately two blocks south of the heart of the SDSU campus. 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[Wife Released in Mayor Shooting]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:40:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/file-bell-gardens-mayor-daniel-crespo-wife-lyvette.jpg

The wife of a Southern California mayor walked free out of a police station Tuesday night after being questioned about the shooting death of her husband of 28 years, sheriff’s officials said.

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, 45, was gunned down during a domestic dispute at their home in the 6300 block of East Gage Avenue in Bell Gardens (map), according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The mayor punched the couple's 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face when the teen tried to intervene in the fight between his parents, investigators said. Crespo's 43-year-old wife, Lyvette, then allegedly grabbed a gun and shot the mayor multiple times in his upper body.

The shooting was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Crespo was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he was pronounced dead. Sources told the NBC4 ITeam a handgun was used to fire three rounds at the mayor, striking him in the torso.

Both the wife and son were questioned at the Bell Gardens police station. Several hours later, sheriff's detectives said the pair had been released and that no arrests had been made.

No further details were released and NBC4 is working to confirm details regarding events that led to the argument and shooting.

Investigators said they planned to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, which will determine whether criminal charges will be filed. That process could take weeks, sources told the NBC4 ITeam.

Sources told NBC4 the mayor resided at the two-story condominium with his wife, 19-year-old son and 26-year-old daughter, who was not present at the time of the shooting.

"I couldn't believe it - I still can't believe it. I have a sick mom and now my brother is gone," said the mayor's brother, William Crespo. "He loved (his family) more than life. He loved his wife a lot, he always loved his wife."

His killing also stunned neighbors.

“I know him (from) when my kids were little, when they were in trouble all the time and he helped me with them because they don’t have a dad,” said neighbor Margarita Rios.

According to the city’s website, Crespo was a Brooklyn, New York, native who had been married to his high school sweetheart since 1986. After moving to Bell Gardens, he worked as a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer for 15 years. He was elected to the Bell Gardens City Council in 2001.

Bell Gardens is a suburb of about 42,000 residents. It's located roughly 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

California state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) called Crespo's death "shocking" and said their "hearts are heavy with grief."

Here is their joint statement:

"As representatives and residents of Bell Gardens, today's tragic news about the passing of our dear friend, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, is shocking and a tremendous loss for our close knit community. Mayor Crespo was a respected public servant who dedicated his life to protecting and helping others in Southeast Los Angeles and throughout the region. Our hearts are heavy with grief today; and our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We ask that the public respect the privacy of his family during the impending investigation."

NBC4's Tena Ezzeddine contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: William Crespo]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Tickets Need to be Sold to Avoid Blackout]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:40:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+jags+nfl+8.jpg

Three-thousand tickets are still available for Sunday’s Chargers-Jets game, and if they’re not sold, the game could be blacked out.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday targeted the sports blackout rule, voting 5-0 to eliminate the longtime rule that prevents home sports game from being aired if the game isn’t sold out.

That doesn’t mean the blackouts will be gone for good, though, as the NFL has long backed them as a way to maintain robust ticket sales. Plus, they could still occur locally under existing contracts between the NFL and broadcasters, according to Politico.

Last Sunday’s Chargers-Jacksonville game was nearly blacked out until the last several thousand tickets were bought by a handful of local businesses.

If this Sunday’s tickets aren’t sold by Thursday, the game will be blacked out.

Last year, the only two NFL games were blacked out in local markets, including the Bengals against the Charges in San Diego on Dec. 1.

The FCC’s chairman said it’s time sports fans are able to watch the games they want.

“For 40 years, these teams have hidden behind the rule of the FCC,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “No more.”

An NFL spokesman said Tuesday the league is reviewing the rule change.

The spokesman said the league will work to “find new ways to bring more people to the game and bring the game to more people.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dad Seeks Answers in Woman's Border Patrol Shooting]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:26:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Valentin-Tachiquin-Valeria.jpg

A man whose daughter was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Chula Vista two years ago continues to seek answers in her death while advocating the use of body cameras by agents.

On Sept. 28, 2012, San Diego mother of five Valeria Tachiquin-Alvarado was fatally shot 10 times by a plainclothes Border Patrol agent on Moss Street.

According to a report released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office and obtained by NBC 7 later that year, Tachiquin allegedly tried to flee from an agent conducting an enforcement operation on someone else.

She allegedly disobeyed orders from officials and hit the agent with her car, trying to drive away with him clinging to the hood of the car, according to the report.

While holding onto her car, the agent drew his service weapon and fired 10 shots into Tachiquin’s vehicle. She was struck in the right hand, arm, abdomen and chest, and died from bullet wounds to her heart, aorta, lungs and other vital organs, the report confirmed. The medical examiner found Tachiquin had a methamphetamine level of .10 in her blood at the time of the incident.

On Tuesday – two years after Tachiquin’s death – her father, Valentin Tachiquin, spoke at the Alliance San Diego office about his ongoing fight for justice and answers.

Valentin – who’s been advocating for lapel body cameras for Border Patrol agents since his daughter’s death, as well as more training and accountability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers – said he still doesn’t understand why his daughter was killed.

“It’s been a lengthy two years. Me and my family are waiting for an answer,” said Valentin. “Going back to that day – it’s frustrating.”

Valentin said that to this day, he still doesn’t know much about the agent who fired at Tachiquin, including whether or not that agent is still working and carrying a gun, and whether he’ll face charges.

“We have been looking for justice since the first day and we will continue seeking justice. We want to know the answers. Why? What happened? What made this officer trigger? Why did he kill her? Was he properly trained?” the father said.

Though time has passed and Valentin continues to push for changes with U.S. Border Patrol, he said one thing remains the same.

“Regardless of what I do and I say, my daughter will never be back with me, with us, with her kids,” he lamented.

According to witnesses and family members, Tachiquin was backing up – not driving forward – when the agent fired at her. They also say the agent was not on the hood of her car, but was standing when he opened fire.

With discrepancies between witnesses and what officials have reported, Valentin continues to seek a final report of what actually happened that day leading to the shooting of his daughter.

As he awaits resolution, Valentin has heard that the Border Patrol’s investigation of the case has been completed and is now with the U.S. Attorney’s office, but has heard no further details.

“I’m waiting for a response. I need somebody to say something. I don’t want to be in limbo. Am I going to wait another two years?” he said. “Are they going to drag it on and continue on until everybody forgets?”

NBC 7 reached out to U.S. Border Patrol officials who said they could not comment on the case but did say future Border Patrol academy classes will be using body cameras to train – but not in the field.

“[I want] better training for their officers in the field and for no people to die, especially. I’m waiting for the truth,” he added.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Accused W.H. Intruder Indicted]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:37:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP183397360031.jpg

The man accused of scaling a security fence and getting into the White House with a knife was indicted on federal and local charges Tuesday, according to federal prosecutors.

Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, is set to appear in federal court Wednesday in Washington.

He was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury after they say he scaled the White House's north perimeter fence, ran across the lawn and entered the presidential mansion on Sept. 19 before agents stopped him.

A District of Columbia grand jury also returned a three-count indictment against Gonzalez Tuesday for unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, as well as violating two District of Columbia laws: carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or place of business and unlawful possession of ammunition.

After Gonzalez was arrested incident the White House, the U.S. Attorney's Office says he gave consent to search his vehicle, which contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete.

The federal charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The D.C. charge of carrying a dangerous weapon carries a maximum of five years, and the charge of unlawful possession of ammunition carries up to one year.

President Barack Obama and his family were away at the time of the incident on Sept. 19.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Brothers Free After 1989 Cold Case Dismissed: DA]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:43:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP936994793936-crop.jpg

In a stunning development, Santa Clara County prosecutors have dropped the 1989 cold case homicide against two brothers charged with strangling one of the men's wives whose body was found wrapped in a patchwork quilt, the District Attorney announced Tuesday.

In a statement, District Attorney Jeff Rosen said there are two reasons the case against David Zimmer of Half Moon Bay and Robert Zimmer of Santa Clara are being dismissed: One, because the prosecutor originally assigned to the case had an "undisclosed and improper relationship with the case's criminalist." And two, the prosecutor failed to provide evidence to the defense in a "timely fashion," Rosen added.

The district attorney offered his "deepest apologies" to Cathy Zimmer's family, but he said the "integrity of the case" had been prejudiced. Rosen kept open the possibility that he may refile the charges, saying prosecutors are now going to "reassess" the case.

The last time the District Attorney's Office dismissed a high-profile murder case was seven years ago.

David Zimmer's attorney, Michael Cardoza, said the case should have been thrown out in the first place, not based on a technicality, but because the evidence against his client and his brother was so weak.

"David is an engineer," Cardoza said in a phone interview. "He's analytical and people misinterpret how he speaks, as though he didn't act appropriately after his wife's death. David just wasn't one of their (police officers') favorite people."

David Zimmer's incarceration had a "devastating" effect on his client, who Cardoza said is "innocent of this murder."

As for who might have killed Cathy Zimmer, Cardoza said: "I have no idea. That's not my job."

Steve Defilippis, who represents Robert Zimmer, was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

In September, the Mercury News was the first to report that Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani was taken off the case for having a "physical and emotional" relationship with crime lab technician Amanda Cardenas, whom he put on the stand twice to testify about DNA tests.

At the time, the DA's office told the Mercury News the revelations did not undermine the DNA results, which had been reviewed by two other crime lab analysts.

David Zimmer, 66, and his brother Robert, 70, were arrested in March in connection with strangling David's then-38-year-old wife Cathy, whose body was found wrapped in a quilt in the back of her car parked at San Jose International Airport on March 10, 1989. Two days earlier, she was last seen at San Jose State University, where the mother of two was taking business courses. NBC Bay Area was the first to report that the cold case was being reopened after 25 years.

Kajani had previously said that David Zimmer had a financial motive to kill his estranged wife and that DNA evidence, as well as statements, implicated Robert Zimmer.

Prosecutors contended that David Zimmer collected $409,000 from the sale of his and Cathy's house on Venice Way in San Jose and two life insurance policies covering Cathy at the time of her death. David and Cathy Zimmer separated in November 1988 after David started a relationship with a female co-worker that July, court documents show.

"They thought he had sold his house a little too soon," Cardoza said.

In 2012, the district attorney's crime lab reported that Robert Zimmer was a possible contributor to a mixture of DNA from a swab taken from the zipper and button of pants worn by Cathy when her body was discovered wrapped inside a colorful quilt. But in a statement last January to an investigator, Robert Zimmer said he did not recall ever being alone with Cathy in her car.

Before the improper relationship was disclosed, Cardoza began poking holes in the case. Cardoza said the prosecutor was using emotion and misleading DNA evidence against his client.

Cardoza added in a previous interview that the DNA found on Cathy's pants was indirect "transferred DNA" that she could have picked up after touching something Robert Zimmer had and was not evidence that he touched her himself.

David Zimmer had bail set at $1 million but has been out of  custody. A judge set Robert Zimmer free on Tuesday afternoon.

The dismissal is "highly unusual," legal analyst Steven Clark said, noting it's especially because the reason is for "one of its own" in reference to the DA's office.

The Mercury News said the last time the DA dismissed a high-profile murder case was in 2007. That's when then-DA Dolores Carr dismissed the charges against Maurice Nasmeh in the death of Jeanine Harms, the Los Gatos woman who disappeared in 2001.

NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro and Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>